Special Correspondent

NAGAPATTINAM: The unusually heavy rainfall in the last one week has destroyed the salt pans that were ready for production on the Vedaranyam coast in the district.

Salt manufacturers, who are in a fix, are worried as they have to spend huge money for preparing the pans once again.

The salt manufacturers and merchants were hoping to get a good price this year to offset the losses incurred by them in June last year when the price crashed to a low of Rs.15 a quintal against the production cost of Rs.20 a quintal.

A salt producer in Vedaranyam told The Hindu that they were getting a good price of Rs.65 a quintal for common salt in the past few months. The price has gone up to Rs.110 a quintal last week as the manufacturers and merchants have exhausted the stocks.

He pointed out that when the salt production was about to be done in a week’s time, the rain had affected the production.

Production of common salt came down by 50 per cent last year from the normal level of 3.50 lakh tonnes due to adverse seasonal conditions coupled with high cost of production.

20,000 workers hit

Nearly, 20,000 workers (both men and women) used to be engaged in salt production from January to June but the workers are now without any job due to heavy rain.

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